Over my maternity leave, I wanted to make a point to really take good care of myself. Becoming a parent causes you to shift your focus completely to caring for child, which is how it needs to be. But, if we aren't careful, we can become completely frazzled and not healthy. I think keeping a mama sane is important. My family is still my number one focus all day, everyday, but making sure I'm not going to come apart at the seams due to lack of sleep and lack of showers, is still important. It's the little things that help too. One day at a time. One workout at a time. One relaxing bath at a time. When I feel good about myself and I feel healthy, I am at the top of my game and can better support my family.
These are just a few of things I've done over the past few weeks to keep me sane. They are simple. They don't take a ton of time but have great returns in the end. A lot of these are probably predictable, but when they aren't in my life, I am a mess.
- Drinking tea. This tea has been a favorite since I am nursing. I tend to want to drink buckets of coffee and this keeps me grounded and far less caffeinated.
2. Exercise. I try to squeeze in any workout I can get, whether it be a DVD (which I seem to collect far too many of), a workout off Hulu, or putting my sneakers on and taking the baby for a walk. I need to work my muscles. I need to get out into the fresh air and out of my pajama pants. Sometimes I am only able to fit in 15 minutes, but the fact that I did anything is an accomplishment. Some of my current workout DVD faves are: this, this, and this.
3. Healthy eating. Nourishing my body. I try to make one salad a day. I've been loosely following Weight Watchers again, which has a calculation for breast feeding mamas, which is nice. I can tell when I'm not eating enough or if I'm eating too much crap. I need energy. I feed our little baby a lot. Same with water. I always have a water bottle somewhere near me because hydration is super important. I currently add some Doterra oils to my water too, like Grapefruit, Wild Orange, or Lemon. I seem to drink a lot more water that way.
My favorite salad currently has 50/50 Spinach and Arugula, 1/2 of an avocado, feta cheese, strawberries, cucumbers, lemon pepper chicken, and a little bit of red wine vinaigrette. So good!
4. Relaxing at night. I usually try to cram so much into my day and my day usually starts pretty dang early nowadays. Once the husband gets home, we usually feed the little one and put her to bed for the night. We've been watching Game of Thrones lately and I love to have a glass of wine when we do. (Don't worry, I don't breastfeed for a good amount of time after drinking alcohol.) It's nice to just slow down even for an hour before bed.
5. Detox Baths. I am a bath person. Lately, I'm lucky if I shower before 2 pm, but sometimes in the evenings, the husband watches the baby monitor and I get to take a bath. Recently, I've been doing detox baths when I can. This includes some epsom salt and my lovely Doterra oils. I feel so wonderful afterwards and I feel like I just soak out all of the crap from my body. I love detox baths so much. I also seem to sleep much better after taking one.
6. Coconut Oil. I'm kind of shocked that it took me so long to embrace this amazing stuff. It has so many uses and so many benefits. To name a few....
- Make-up Remover
- Body lotion
- Helps lessen the appearance of stretch marks
- Cooking (I cook eggs, veggies, chicken, you name it with this stuff!)
- Cradle Cap
I could go on and on. Here's a pretty good list of coconut oil uses.
7. Diffusing Oils. I know you're probably reading this saying, "Oh no, here we go again. She's talking about essential oils." Sorry, but I love them. I like diffusing citrusy scents during the day when I'm working. Sometimes I add peppermint to the mix. It lifts my moods and increases my focus on the task at hand.
8. Dry Shampoo. My hair secret. Let's be honest here, I do shower everyday but I don't always have the time to wash my hair, blow-dry it, straighten or curl it, etc, etc, etc.... So, this is where dry shampoo comes in. This stuff has been a saving grace over maternity leave. My baby needs me a lot. My hair doesn't get washed everyday. Truth. This allows me to go 2 days between washing. Total life saver. I've used a lot of different brands, but this one is my current choice.
9. Reading a good book. This is the other way I wind down at the end of my day. I sleep way better if I read before bed instead of watching too many episodes of something on Netflix.
My current reads (I always have too many books going at one time and clearly I need to add a novel or two to this list.)
- Bread & Wine, A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes
- Daring Greatly
- Operation Instructions, A Journal of My Son's First Year
- The Happiness Project
- Bringing up Bebe
10. And finally sleep. I know, you moms out there are probably laughing at this one. Sleep? What is this sleep you speak of? When you have baby, everyone tells you to sleep when the baby sleeps. I feel this isn't the most realistic of goals, but I do make a point to try and go to bed at a decent time. I could spend hours on the computer, pinning stuff on Pinterest, but instead I try to get a decent amount of sleep. I know that I will be waking up at some point to feed the baby, so I take what I can get. Naps are also moments in time sent from heaven. I probably nap maybe once a week but sometimes that's all I need to hit the refresh button.